Magazine article Black Enterprise

Speaking Volumes

Magazine article Black Enterprise

Speaking Volumes

Article excerpt

Parents often say to their children it's not what you say, but how you say it. Public-speaking experts and corporate executives echo this advice. They agree that effective communication, whether in the boardroom or the lunchroom--plays an integral role in how fast, or how slow, you move along the corporate fast track.

Mannie Jackson, senior vice president of development and customer alliance at Honeywell Inc., a Minneapolis-based manufacturer of home and building controls and aviation systems, knows this well. "One of the major signs of assertiveness and leadership is public speaking," says Jackson, who makes at least four presentations a week at customer conferences, universities and the office. "It enables you to be recognized [in your industry.]" Jackson is definitely a recognizable figure at Honeywell. The 20-year company veteran is responsible for Honeywell's worldwide distribution of control products and has a $180 million operating budget.

James Williams, an NAACP spokesman and a speech writer, says that an effective speaker always leaves his audience with "something to walk away with." Williams offers the following tips on how to captivate an audience.

* Make sure you write a speech that has a beginning, middle and end.

* Read to gain knowledge in a variety of areas.

* Understand your audience and its interests.

Marilynn Davis, senior director of American Express Bank Ltd. in New York, says that she often uses visual aids during her presentations. …

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